Saturday, July 23, 2005

Confessions from the War part II

To be brutally honest, I am confused. I am completely and hopeless torn in half with this issue. On one hand, I'd like to think of our actions in the war as something good, honorable, a quest to get rid of a tyrant ruler, we brought freedom to an opressed country, We provided aid, we built schools, roads, restored power, (of course this won't make the evening news) The American Servicemen over there do a lot more than just sit there waiting for the enemy to do his next move. But Damn, there is a littel voice in me that likes to question everything, it cannot rest quiet. Is it in our best interest to be over there? What exactly are we accomplishing? This brings me yet to another dilema, I completely despise wiht all of my heart, those anti-war liberals that want us to be weak. I am NOT a war protester. But I do not want us to be in a military operation without a clear objective.

If you were to ask 10 different soldiers in my company what the "mission" was, they'd give you 10 different answers. Hell, our actual mission statement was the definition of vague, "To secure the city of Ramadi and to reconstruct the goverment infrastructure of the local goverment" In order to secure the city we had be secure ourselves, and we spent a lot of our time reacting to IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) instead of doing more beneficial activities for the Iraquis.

Now, here's the thing. The Iraqi resitance is so fucking stupid, they have to think, what do we really want? Do we want those dirty infidel Americans out of our beloved country? Well, let's let them be and eventually most of them will be out! But no, they want to fight, They don't want our presence there, they don't want our way of life, they don't want to have Wal-Marts, summer BBQs, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, They want to live the way they'd been living for hundreds of years, they wish that we lived in the days of Mohammed, they don't like capitalism, free trade, none of that. They don't want us over there. Here we were American soldiers thinking that everyone likes our freedom and our way of life, but those people are either very fucking stupid and they think that by killing Americans they will go to Allah, or they are smart enough to figure out that the way to kill the big giant is by acting like little germs, little tiny creatures that paralyze the big giant. I have seen them, I have captured them at Traffic Check points with a car-load of explosives, I was not impressed with them, most of them cry when they are captured, they swear of their innocence like the 20 RPGs that were in their car was to go camel-hunting. But once I saw this guy, he must have been like 17, I do not remember who he was, All I can tell you was that my section was in charge of securing them right after we did a raid and before we turned them over to the Military Police, What struck me about this kid was that he was not whining about his plastic handcuffs were too tight like his older peers, but instead he looked at us with this deep hate, this stare that I will never forget, this look that said that no matter what we do to his body his mind will never be touched, then I realized the power of fighting for an idea, a pretty reasonable person will realize that is a dumb idea strap himself with a bunch of C4 to kill 20 people, 18 of them iraqi, but not to a fanatical, not a person that firmly believes in what they are doing. If you think there is power in that, well, go ahead. I think it is pathetically stupid to die for an idea, or is it? If I were to die myself, would I have died a stupid death? I would like to think not, because I died "defending freedom" so isn't this similar to the death of the stupid iraqi who died for his ideas? You see, this is the type of thing that kills me, whenever I try to demonize the enemy and make our side the good guys I fail, at the end I could justify my actions as self defense, go after them before they get to me, anyone who is trying to harm me or my guys is my sworn enemy. But the fact that are trying to kill me in my mind justifies me shooting them but does not make them the side that is "wrong", actually yes it does, because if they were to stop shooting, placing IEDs, and all forms of resistance, then they wouldn't be shot at. They always started with the attacks, we were the reactive end for the most part. So that would make them "bad guys' and us the good guys. right? Right?


wanderer said...

I did read the entire thing, but this is what piqued my interest:

"those anti-war liberals that want us to be weak"

Who are you talking about? Why do you think they want us to be weak? What would it mean to be strong in this context? If one is anti-war, are they then weak?

Jose said...

Well, my personal belief is that the United States has to be tough on the war against terrorism, I understand that there are people who believe that any type of war is wrong, just like there are people who believe that class stratification is wrong, But the problem with those ideologies is that they are not practical in the real world, War is a necessary evil. I am in favor of hunting down Al-Queada and all of them, I don't think wars are a good thing, I don't like war, but it is a reality. I think that if we don't have tough policies, we are being weak. If we were to pull out of the middle east completely, not only will it encourage any other group with an agenda to commit acts of terrorism, it will not stop extremist from trying to harm us, it will not help our image over there. But the question I ask myself is whether being in Iraq is helping us accomplish something in this war of terrosim, because I'd hate to think that there are Americans spending time over there because of a bad reason.

wanderer said...

Okay, terrorism is bad and there are few liberals that are against that. However, what is terrorism? What is the motivation for terrorism? I think that once we understand what terrorism is, we will also understand that waging a literal war against it is impossible, and in fact, makes the elements that cause terrorism to become even more influential.

I think one thing that is certain is that there was grossly insufficient justification for invading Iraq under the banner of "the war on terrorism." Sure, I'll admit, maybe the Iraq administration had a link with Al-Qaeda, but there has been no evidence to prove such a link, and waging war based on a maybe is not a display of strength, but of stupidity, ignorance and alterior motives. Anti-war liberals do not "want us to be weak." They want us to find a more effective and peaceful solution.

Jose said...

Not all anti-war liberals are the same, and I admit I shouldn't have categorized them all as wanting us to be weak. But should we be making any efforts to stop terrorism? or is any attempt futile?
I think we should stop them. I don't want them to get away with what they are doing. Find all of them. But in a smart way, if that is possible.
And the mess in Iraq, yeah, there was insufficient intelligence, but no one responsible will admit they made a mistake and we can't just leave Iraq, now we are looking for a way out and we are stuck. I feel for all the guys that gave up more than just 15 months of their time to this conflict. I am just Thankful that the media is still being kind to them even after all the scandals.